The 10 style personality profiles: which one best describes you?

Susan B. in two Gamine style outfits. Gamine style personality with Natural. More Style Personality profiles at une femme d'un certain age.

(Jeune homme came to stay with us over the long holiday weekend, so I decided to take a couple of days off. Catching up today.)

left: tee | necklace | jeans | sandals
right: bandana | tee | jeans | espadrilles

My mini-rant in last Friday’s “shopping my closet” post about the current selection of available clothing styles (or lack therof) felt a bit as if I’d come full circle. When I began blogging in 2007, I often bemoaned the lack of what I called “grown up clothes.”

A style wish list

At the time, I was still somewhat invested in the concept of age appropriate style. And I was caught up in the fascination with French style*. But I ultimately realized that what I was looking for wasn’t a demographic-driven aesthetic, but a personal one.

I’ve done a lot of experimenting over the years, and have evolved my style to incorporate more color. But many of the same style attributes I was searching for at the beginning are still on my wish list:

  • simple but sophisticated
  • sleek, nothing too bulky or oversized
  • structured but not stiff
  • quality fabric and construction
  • a touch of wit, a little quirky

When I had my color and style analysis two years ago and my Style Personality Profile was assessed as Gamine, it was a confirmation of what I’d always been drawn to style-wise. (I’ve since added “Natural” as a modifier, which incorporates some texture and fluidity.)

Susan B wears Clergerie Birdie raffia oxfords. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

shoes

The Style Personality Profiles

Style Personality Profiles are a tool to help create cohesion and harmony, and a wardrobe that suits the individual. An image consultant will make an assessment based on a combination of physical and personality attributes. Your personal profile will suggest which cuts, fabrics, and details will help bring your best self forward. You may find that you are a blend of two or more profiles.

Here are the 10 Personality Profiles:

  • The Diva/Dramatic: flamboyant, over the top, intense, can be a little bit scary. Think Annie Lennox, Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Rhianna
  • The Classic: Elegant, well-groomed, understated and chic. Think Grace Kelly, Duchess of Cambridge, Kristin Scott Thomas, Cate Blanchett.
  • The Huntswoman/Natural Classic: Sporty yet elegant, relaxed yet put-together. Think Meryl Streep, Jennifer Anniston, Princess Diana.
  • The Adventurer/Natural: Sporty, outdoorsy, relaxed and wholesome, needs easy, textured styles. Think: Lauren Hutton, Ali McGraw, Julia Roberts.
  • The Gamine: neat, cute, fun, funky. Think Audrey Hepburn, Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan, Ellen DeGeneres.
  • The Princess: pretty, delicate, feminine, with small-scale, petite features. Think Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried.
  • The Bohemian/Natural Romantic: Feminine, sexy, glamorous, earthy. Think: Drew Barrymore, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Winslet, Lily Tomlin.
  • The Starlet: Pretty, softly sexy. Think Reese Witherspoon, Christina Ricci, Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson.
  • The Romantic: Glamorous, sophisticated, ultra-feminine and usually curvy. Think: Christina Hendricks, Elizabeth Taylor, Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey.
  • The Gypsy/Musketeer: Theatrical, flamboyant, exciting and earthy. Think Helena Bonham Carter, Debra Messing, Salma Hayek.
Susan B. sitting at a sidewalk table wearing a mermaid print shirt, blue jeans, and red espadrilles.

shirt (similar) | bag (similar) | wrap bracelet | cuff | jeans | espadrilles

This discussion of the profiles with Annie Castaño and Ivana Nohel of Castanohel goes into more depth:

The best style for each of us is one that feels authentic and allows us to shine. Some people come by that instinctively, while others find guidelines helpful. The concept of Style Personalities isn’t intended to impose rules or put anyone in a box. To me, it’s a helpful framework to quantify and understand WHY something works or doesn’t. Understanding your style personality can help prevent expensive shopping mistakes, and assist in building a cohesive wardrobe of pieces that we’ll actually WEAR.

*it only took a couple of visits to Paris to understand that what’s often presented as French style is a small subset of what women actually wear. There are some commonalities, but much more diversity than most “French girl” articles might lead us to believe.

Do any of the Style Personality Profiles resonate with you?

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47 Comments

  1. July 6, 2021 / 4:18 am

    I wonder if pixie (my designated personality style) is aligned with gamine ? I always thought of myself as classic ( summer attire = Bermuda shorts or white jeans , button down shirts or polo tops ) but maybe pixie is the true to myself ME? I’m a summer who dresses in spring-wrongfully?

    • Rhonda
      July 6, 2021 / 6:50 am

      I agree with you Paulette! I gravitate toward J Crew and Ann Taylor when I shop in the thrift stores. But when I did a deeper dive into these styles, I discovered that Gamine fit better with my body type. I’ve been trying to follow some of the gamine style tips–higher neckline (I tended to v-neck), fitted at waist, knee, ankle (I started using a French tuck), shirts with small patterns.

  2. July 6, 2021 / 5:14 am

    I feel the Classic, Natural Classic and Natural categories sum up the majority of my wardrobe. There were many years of hit and miss before I was able to clearly understand my need for comfort and confidence related to what I was wearing. My favorite pieces are quite basic and neutral. I prefer to add my more personal touch by accessorizing. I also feel that my personality plays a major role in my fashion choices. I am a hard no on so many styles that have come and gone over the years. I am very satisfied with where I have landed today.
    Thanks for a fun blog!

  3. Kelly
    July 6, 2021 / 5:21 am

    That was a fun post! I had previously watched the video with Annie and Ivana and knew immediately that I was a Natural Classic or Huntswoman. Even at the height of Covid I couldn’t bring myself to wear leggings and tees. I often felt I was the only person at Target or the market in jeans and a nice shirt or sweater and shoes other than sneakers. But I felt like me, which was nice in such uncertain times!

  4. Marianne
    July 6, 2021 / 5:50 am

    I enjoyed the discussion, it was very informative.

  5. Kathie
    July 6, 2021 / 5:56 am

    What a fun post. I’ll watch the video tonight. I’m basically a natural classic but I have a touch of gamine that comes out in the summer when I like to wear “loud” pant in bright colors and fun prints. Otherwise I almost never wear prints other than animal prints. I adore stripes and neat scarves (there’s another hint of gamine). My look is always put-together. I could never be seen in sweats or leggings My jeans are dark wash. I always wear light makeup. My jewelry is understated and generally real, my few costume pieces are subtle. I’m a tonal warm and have purged by closet of black and white other than my yoga clothes.

  6. Sue H
    July 6, 2021 / 6:15 am

    As a trained image consultant, I believe that style personality is the most important characteristic every woman should know. It’s at the heart of what makes us feel comfortable and confident (bien dans sa peau as the French say). Wearing styles that are authentic to who you are – and knowing those to avoid – makes shopping much easier. I am a classic. I love elegant fashion, and often use column dressing as my preferred style. It’s easy and reflects who I am. Thanks for sharing this post.

  7. Candy
    July 6, 2021 / 7:15 am

    Susan, I really appreciate your comment about how what’s typically presented as French style applies to only a small subset of women. If you Google all the articles about French style, the photos are inevitably of younger white, very slender women, when the reality, as you point out, is much more diverse. While my personal style tends toward classic, seeing how a variety of women — especially those who don’t look like me — put together a not-so-classic outfit gives me inspiration to broaden my style personality.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 7, 2021 / 4:58 pm

      Bravo for remembering that Paris and other major cities are multiracial and multicultural.

      I’m definitely boho but don’t fit into any of the subsets here. No pastels, no white, few loud colours except for red, forest green and a certain deep violet. I like skirts but hate ruffles… Have to shop a bit this summer as I’ve dropped at least two sizes, but little appeals in the shops.

  8. Nancy
    July 6, 2021 / 7:18 am

    Is it common to be one type but long to be more like another? I know my style is classic but I also like some quirk and I find it difficult to find clothes that are classic with a bit of fun. I wish I were more gamine or romantic but I feel most comfortable in classic. Just curious if this is fairly common for folks. Love this post!

  9. July 6, 2021 / 7:48 am

    I love the color approach, but I don’t quite get the profiles. The time I spent style blogging was super helpful to me though. I had to eventually define myself as polished tomboy, and then a reader characterized my style as no-fuss edgy, and I was like YES ALL THAT! And I am not sure where edgy+tomboy fits in those profiles. It’s a very Northern California/East Coast approach, and maybe very niche;).

    I bet you will be great at helping people find their personal style.

    • MaureenC
      July 9, 2021 / 12:14 am

      I would characterise myself as no fuss edgy too, it’s a more common style amongst women in European cities particularly in the creative industries. It’s not a style you see much in the US outside of the places you mention but it’s a very common look in London.

  10. Diane B
    July 6, 2021 / 7:49 am

    I really like the mermaid blouse on you, That length of sleeve is difficult to find in styles I like. If I were to wear that type of print I would look like I was dressing in some other persons’ clothes. Due to a few anomalies in my style typing, there is a small percentage of another style type, and that is represented by a similar percentage of that clothing type. This could work out to be the overall outline of the major type and a print etc. to represent the other, occasionally jeweller will do it. Sometimes hard to work out, but when it does, it feels just right.When I have tried to wear something in for example Huntswoman style, I would have it taken off before I left the closet. Just feels so wrong. This is such a fascinating topic, I could read about it all the time. Well, maybe not all.

  11. July 6, 2021 / 7:51 am

    I am having so much fun learning to interpret bohemian/romantic for me. Especially now that I am a vibrant autumn/bohemian/romantic. I promised to be teachable and open. There are some traits of boho I want to try to work with and others I will leave behind. But it really is fun to find what fits you best.

  12. Angela Pea
    July 6, 2021 / 7:59 am

    I’m going to proclaim myself a Bohemian Musketeer! The combination of these two styles is my closet exactly.

  13. SuD
    July 6, 2021 / 8:02 am

    I guess my overall style is a combination natural/classic/gamine and touches of global/boho in accessories.

  14. Carol W Wayne
    July 6, 2021 / 8:02 am

    I know this would probably be a lot of work…but could we have outfits to match each style. Like you did for the French women classics?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      July 6, 2021 / 8:13 am

      Yes, I’ll be working on this for future posts.

      • Shawn
        July 6, 2021 / 8:26 am

        Yay!

  15. Yvonne
    July 6, 2021 / 8:51 am

    What a fun discussion! I’m a Dramatic Classic. Every time I’ve done one of those personality profiles, I’m always split half and half. My clothes tend to lean towards the more classic (but usually with a unique feature) and my accessories are usually bold and artistic.

  16. Anon
    July 6, 2021 / 9:20 am

    I think some of these “style personalities” come down to body shape dressing. If we take our coloring, lifestyles and body shapes into account, we arrive at what looks and works best for us. I don’t find style personality typology helpful.

  17. Mary
    July 6, 2021 / 10:04 am

    I react badly to this sort of thing. If you read carefully it’s putting women into categories based partly on things they cannot control – body size & shape and facial features. I feel sad when I read comments like: “Is it common to be one type but long to be another?” Come on, it’s just clothes! Wear what makes you feel like your best self and forget the rules. If you’re 6’2 and want to dress like a princess, go for it!
    I’m glad you made that comment about so called “French” style. Walk around Paris and you will see way more than the typical French style promoted to American women – you know, skinny white girl with artfully messy hair, red lipstick, scarf tied just-so…

    • Patrish
      July 6, 2021 / 1:17 pm

      I totally agree with Mary.
      I think ‘categories’ are just plain lame. I thought that was what we
      were trying to get away from.
      If you don’t like the way you look, don’t wear the clothes. If you like the way you look, that’s your style.
      You can’t buy style. You either have it (your own) or you don’t.
      Pay attention to proportion and colors that don’t drain your face.
      No one needs and expert. All you need is a mirror and a critical eye.

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        July 6, 2021 / 1:45 pm

        Perhaps you don’t (and that’s fine) but many of us DO get value from having someone with a trained and objective eye provide style suggestions and feedback. We all process information differently.

        • Patrish
          July 6, 2021 / 4:37 pm

          Yes, I don’t need help because I have made my mistakes along the way and have the confidence to decide on my own what feels right for me.
          I firmly believe that one does not become confident by having someone tell them what to do.
          Confidence comes when you put yourself out there and make choices, take chances, right or wrong and go forward from there, learning
          what works for you. Not only style-wise but life choices.
          Women have worked so hard to have our voices heard, and I feel that all this ‘help’ is purely sales based and it has nothing to do
          with helping someone be confident. No one who is confident would be buying into yet another category, or color group.
          It just adds more confusion……what ‘slot’ do I fit in to? Can I make myself more of this or that…..And, who is trained? What does that mean?
          Show me credentials.
          Imitation is free. Admire the people who make you look twice. Then, do it for yourself. Live along into your own ‘style’.

          • Susan Blakey
            Author
            July 6, 2021 / 4:44 pm

            Hi Patrish, if you think I’m “telling [anyone] what to do,” I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood what I’m trying to convey. “Tools, not rules” is my guiding principle. If what I’ve offered doesn’t work for you, feel free to ignore it.

        • July 9, 2021 / 10:10 pm

          I’ve noticed that whenever someone writes up a list of ideas intending to be inspirational, the list is almost immediately labeled as proscriptive and restrictive, designed to put the reader in a box. Life as we have known it up till now, lived on the wind with no definitions to control one’s total free will, is threatened. The writer clearly wishes to usurp the rights of the individual. No one should be told what to do, not in this corner of the interwebs. What I don’t understand is why are these otherwise ‘free’ people so threatened by a list of words, intended to be helpful, but always misinterpreted as secretly hostile to Free Will.

  18. darlene gomes
    July 6, 2021 / 10:20 am

    What woven shoes are you wearing with your jeans?? I do not see info about them. Thanks.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      July 6, 2021 / 10:24 am

      Hi Darlene, if you’re referring to the raffia oxfords, here’s the link: https://bit.ly/3jckL8G (There’s a link below the image but it kind of gets lost 😉 )

  19. Cancan
    July 6, 2021 / 10:52 am

    I would love to see you put together a post on how each style personality puts together something simple, say a tee shirt and jeans. It could include different accessories, jewelry, hairstyles, and prints to highlight each archetype.
    I would find the visual illustrations so much more helpful than referring to a movie star. Meryl Streep, which one? Mamma Mia or Out of Africa?!

    • Lori
      July 6, 2021 / 3:50 pm

      I agree. I can’t relate to any of the celebrities mentioned. I love the idea of styling simple outfits with each “type” of accessory. Of course, not all the types would even wear just jeans and a tee, but perhaps another sample of a column of color for the “fancier” types.

  20. Nancy MK
    July 6, 2021 / 10:53 am

    Susan, the video is delightful and informative. Huntswoman, me, who knew! I have always preferred textured fabrics in simple shapes. I do feel like Wonder Woman in a blazer, often tweed, but also plain if soft like cashmere. The draping was persuasive, as to colors for autumns which I might be (that or spring), yet as my hair changed from red to a mixture of white, brown and red, black became a good color for me which would not fit autumn or spring. The ladies are a complete hoot. Thanks again.

  21. July 6, 2021 / 11:35 am

    What are the male equivalents of these personality types? I imagine “Classic” would work for anyone, but what are the equivalents of “Starlet” and “Princess”? 😉

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 7, 2021 / 5:09 pm

      Young leading man – and prince.

  22. Eileen
    July 6, 2021 / 12:00 pm

    I would also appreciate pictures of different styles, actress’ are either super dressed up, or playing a “role” in a movie.
    When I have visited Paris, women of a certain age wore a lot of classic styles, in classic or subdued color ways. Thanks for the video.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 7, 2021 / 5:13 pm

      You don’t know my Parisian friends! Though I agree about subdued or subtle colour, even among artistic types, of a certain age.

  23. Kay
    July 6, 2021 / 1:03 pm

    The labels make my head spin. I have taken to calling myself “restrained boho.” I definitely lean boho, but I also have a closet full of Eileen Fisher basics. I do big earrings and one bracelet, seldom a necklace. In California, of course, I can do sandals most of the year. I wear hats.

    Thank you for that clarification of “French style.” I spend time in France (well, I used to, thanks Covid) with my French family, none of whom dress like stylish Parisians. I have always thought American women would be sadly disappointed when travelling to France and discovering casual, sometimes even sloppy, dressing alongside the fewer Parisian chic costumes around. It also served to make American women feel “less than,” I thought, thinking they wouldn’t measure up to the runway women on all the streets in France. This has been, for me, a long-standing “pet peeve.”

  24. Jill Ann
    July 6, 2021 / 4:24 pm

    Susan, since we’re using celebrities to illustrate the types, how would you classify Ines de la Fressange?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      July 6, 2021 / 4:26 pm

      I’d bet Ines is mostly Classic, with some Dramatic.

  25. Eve
    July 6, 2021 / 4:27 pm

    I’m for soft and worn looking fabrics, jeans, sneakers or loafers. I do like color but not a lot of it. I Do like graphic tees but color in pants just never seem to work for me. I like mid to lighter colors. I like to express a sense of fun, nothing ever structured, or fitted. I have to feel free in my clothes, burlap straw rope things appeal to me. I think I have the all American, small town girl look. I’d call me a southern natural.

  26. Jean
    July 6, 2021 / 5:10 pm

    I’m having trouble fitting Audrey Hepburn and Ellen DeGeneres in the same profile.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      July 6, 2021 / 5:18 pm

      Think simple, neat, no frills, “snappy.” (I’m thinking of Audrey Hepburn in a marinière and slim pants, not her character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s…) There’s a wide range of expression in each of the profiles.

      • Linda
        July 7, 2021 / 1:15 pm

        Yes! I think Audrey and Ellen DO belong in the same category. Different personal manifestations of the same style aesthetic.

  27. July 6, 2021 / 6:33 pm

    These are so fun!! I was trained with another system that uses different words, but the concept is the same. Understanding what we love and what works can make dressing easier. It also gives many women the freedom to experiment where they might have otherwise felt stuck.
    I have been a classic/elegant for as long as I can remember. I now take those attributes and wear them in a more sporty way, but there is always a touch of elegance. The system I was trained in also took a person’s personality into account when choosing the best color pallet. Personality has energy and so do colors. I love all of this! Very fun, Susan.

  28. Cindylou
    July 6, 2021 / 9:39 pm

    Thanks for a great post. I liked the way you dressed before your consultation (which is why I started reading your blog) but I like your style even more now that you’ve incorporated more color. I think I’m a classic gamine. I’m short, 5’2” and a little busty and not much of a waistline. Big prints and clothes overpower me. I like a neat, fun look with a bit of elegance. Slim pants with tops that skim the body and simple dresses. I love black and white and since I’m a winter it loves me back. I have incorporated more color in my wardrobe. I like wearing colorful pants with a simple top and jewelry or scarf, depending on the season. I think it looks chic and I love it on other women. And I love stripes.

  29. Ainsivalavie
    July 8, 2021 / 7:23 am

    I have to agree with the comments about pegging ourselves into style holes. Some days I wear J Crew navy striped top with navy pants and a J Crew Sophie cardigan.. Pretty classic and I feel great..but I also own and love wearing some pretty ‘out there’ garments as well. Tassels, kimonos, wide legs, skinny legs, flown and structured. I am drawn (and repelled ) by certain colours noting that the colours I like work with my bright Winter colouring.I came from a family of women that had a strong sense of personal style so I just followed that pattern but jettisoned that which did not ring true for ME. This did create some conflict with my mother but I persevered. I am far more Helena Bonham Carter then the Duchess of Cambridge but I also relate to several other categories. I guess I am my own category.

  30. July 9, 2021 / 6:45 am

    While I like to think of myself as Diva/Dramatic (because I’m an opera singer), I really don’t dress that way. I think I go most often between Bohemian and Gypsy/Musketeer, with a bit of gamine. And when I put on dresses, they tend toward the classic or romantic.

    I can definitely identify what I am NOT: Starlet, Princess, Adventurer, Huntswoman.

    I gravitate toward jewel tones (even on my head – see my purple and teal hair!), black (although not as much as when I was starting out as a singer, when that was pretty much my uniform), with bold prints and flowing lines.

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